by: Darren Baker [ ]
Originally published on:
MiniArt is spreading their net far and wide and turning their attention to models that have not as a rule attracted them previously. One of these new lines as I see it is a series of civilian vehicles including public transport. So here we have a Mercedes 170V Cabriolet B German Car identified on the packaging as a Cabriolet B German Car Type 170 in 1/35th scale.
This offering from MiniArt arrives in the usual packaging of a cardboard tray with a separate card lid; the artwork on the lid represents a Mercedes 170V Cabriolet in a leafy area of Germany. Inside there is an instruction booklet and a single plastic bag containing all of the plastic for the model plus the clear sprue and decals in a bag of their own and packed along with the other parts, a nice touch is that the body for this model is protected inside a separate card box adding that nice touch of extra protection. In this example no obvious damage has been caused to any elements of the model; while no damage has been done to the model from what I can see it does leave small and fragile parts exposed to be knocked loose or damaged. There is a sheet of photo etch included with this release and that is protected by a card envelope in the packaging.
Included with this offering from MiniArt is a very nicely tackled engine and gearbox. One of my concerns when I saw an engine was included was that a large amount of microscopic photo etched parts would be used during construction, well good news MiniArt has not gone overboard with the photo etch here and instead moulded the parts while still providing a great look to the area. With that said there are still some very small elements that need to be added. The addition of some wire to replicate cables and piping will lift this area easily to a very high standard and that effort could be well worth it if you display this area.
The chassis of the vehicle is tubular in construction and has been provided as a single structure for the most part. There are some very small details that need to be added and that includes photo etched elements, but at least we are provided with a sturdy structure to work from in this respect. Something that I was particularly pleased to see is an element for the super detailers amongst us; MiniArt has provided plans for the bending of brake lines from wire that you source yourself. The combination of leaf springs at the front and coiled spring suspension at the rear has been very nicely tackled with the springs being moulded compressible if not on the model itself. My pet hate is present in that the front wheels cannot be assembled or shown turned without some difficult surgery. An exceptional detail here is that the end of the exhaust has been slide moulded and so will not need to be drilled by the modeller.
The floor of the vehicle has been well tackled with good detail on both faces. In order to avoid ejector pin marks on the part there are a number of long pins that will need to be removed on the underside of the moulding. The chassis attached to the floor via some small areas and so take care with this aspect of the model as there are no substantial mating areas. The firewall has been well tackled and provides details such as the fuel tank and car tools which is a very nice touch for adding that special touch that is rarely seen. One thing the modeller will need to look into is the route of the fuel line from the tank to the engine.
The cabin of the vehicle has seats that show no wear and tear, an aspect I can forgive on a civilian vehicle. The dash board has clear glazing for the dials with instrument details moulded as part of the dash board, due to the depth of these elements I would have liked to see some decals provided as I feel it will be next to impossible to cleanly paint these details before adding the supplied clear lenses. I was very pleased to see interior details such as a rear view mirror included, but it is the actuating arms and motor for the wiper arms that really caught my eye.
The body of the vehicle is an especially fine moulding that is really a skeleton which allows the modeller to decide how they want the vehicle displayed. The roof of this offering being a soft top is provided with the option of showing it open or closed. The doors are all separate with door cards added during assembly and this has hidden some substantial ejector pin marks. The hood/bonnet of the vehicle is supplied very finely moulded and allows for the hood/bonnet to be shown open or closed; something worthy of special mention is that the vents in the cowlings have been moulded open. There are some very fine photo etched elements covering the locking elements of the hood/bonnet and these could prove problematic for those who are not fully comfortable with using photo etch; I again praise MiniArt for covering the correct application for the hood being assembled open or closed. The front grill has been well tackled with a photo etched grill being provided and also a nice Mercedes Benz badge for the top.
The tyres of the model have been tackled via the slice methodology and so provided cleanup is well done this will provide excellent tyre tread detail. The Mercedes Benz badge is very clearly replicated on the wheel hubs. On the tyre walls themselves MiniArt has provided manufacturer details for the tyre.
MiniArt has provided two figures with this release in the form of a well defined female and a male. The clothing provided would cover from the 1930ís through to the 1960ís in my opinion. but your opinion may differ. I was pleased to see a female figure with a female face and not provided with excessive attributes. These two figures are a nice inclusion by MiniArt. There is no flash present on either figure, but there is of course some mine mould seams that will need to be addressed and I feel is expected. An aspect I approve of here is that the female is depicted as the driver rather than the male figure. The crease detail in the clothing is very natural and I really do like these figures.
MiniArt has provided six different finishing options for the model that gives the modeller some choices while also allowing them to search online. Beyond the colour changes to the vehicles the only other change is the registration plates, and I am pleased to see that each design is different which is a very nice touch.
This offering from MiniArt is a lovely car model in 1/35th scale that provides a lot of options for the modeller. I do wish MiniArt had provided a way for showing the front wheels turned, but that is something I want rather than what the model needs to supply. The level of detail provided by MiniArt marks this model as one of the very best car models available today and that includes when comparing to 1/24th scale offerings. I will say that this is not a model for the modeller without some skills under their belts as it does have some very fine parts that will test the eyes and the steadiness of the hands. The result though could easily be a stunning model either as a standalone build or as part of something bigger. Very impressive work from MiniArt